A red severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Far North, accompanied by torrential rain.
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At 5.30pm, the MetService weather radar detected a line of severe thunderstorms lying from Te Kao to Motutangi to Kohukohu.
“This line of severe thunderstorms is moving northeast, and is expected to lie from Te Kao to Motutangi to Mangamuka at 6pm and from Motutangi to Mangamuka at 6.30pm,” MetService said.
These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.
Torrential rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.
A severe thunderstorm watch remains in force for Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula.
MetService has warned of potential localised downpours for the Coromandel Peninsula, eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty and the Gisborne ranges.
The alert is in force from 3pm until midnight with a threat of flash flooding and hazardous driving conditions.
Showers hit Auckland at about 12.30pm with heavy showers following soon after.
A high of 26C is forecast. MetService said the rain should ease later this evening.
Rain is also predicted on Tuesday morning in the City of Sails but it will clear, leaving partly cloudy conditions for the rest of the day with a high of 24C.
MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said Kiwis should take advantage of any sunny weather they get before the rain sets in this week.
“If you haven’t washed your car, now’s a great time to get that much-needed car wash and watering done,” Marsters said.
“Frontal rain for much of the motu with heavy falls about Taranaki Maunga and downpours from east Northland to the Bay of Plenty in the evening.”
There will be cloudy conditions passing over the North Island in the coming days with rain from Taranaki to Wellington.
There are also heat alerts today in Whangārei, Auckland, Whitianga, Thames, Napier, Whanganui, and Motueka.
A cold front will be moving up the South Island, bringing heavy rain to the West Coast and triggering a rain watch for the Westland ranges until 8pm today.
Then, as the weekend approaches, it will be mainly fine with a few showers in the south.
A moderate fire risk exists for eastern areas from Kaikōura to Central Otago.
There will still be a strong wind watch for the Canterbury high country until midnight tonight.